Heartless follows Sofie and Sebastian - two siblings with a deep dark and fatal secret. In order to survive they must suck energy out of other people. We follow their quest for answers as ...
See full summary »
Heartless follows Sofie and Sebastian - two siblings with a deep dark and fatal secret. In order to survive they must suck energy out of other people. We follow their quest for answers as to why they are this way and their search leads them to Ottmannsgaard, a boarding school with plenty of deep dark secrets of its own. Written by
Its a teenage vampire type story with a new twist (not quite vampires) and a certain amount of Scandinavian style. Scandinavian style is not to everyone's taste. Too much morbid standing around, staring into space or watching people walking around... Heartless does have a bit of that but it fits in with the style and is only occasionally annoying. I watched it in Danish with English subtitles. I prefer watching foreign programs with subtitles to get the feel of the originating culture, and I love listening to Danish (though don't understand it).
The story is very good and a lot of different types of teenage angst are mixed in to get all sorts of emotions started, and then they are well managed. There are people who don't know their parents and have no future, there is moving to a new, uncomfortable environment to live in (the boarding school and its intrigues), there is love between the teens, love between teens and adults, broken family relationships, old secret trysts, murders, unrequited lovers being abused, unrequited lovers doing the abuse, etc, etc. The tie in with the historical story is good.
There are all sorts of things going on and it is very well acted and directed all round (apart from comments below). It is quite artistic and adult. More along the lines of Interview With A Vampire for teens than another Twilight. The opening credits and music are great. Amazing performances are given by two of the actors: Frederikke Dahl Hansen as Nadja gives a very nuanced performance of an innocent young abused girl torn by many emotions, and Julie Christiansen as Emelie, a charismatic performance as person of power even though just a young girl.
It is filmed in a dark and dreary way which works but does eventually get in the way. Instead of being engrossed, you eventually start wondering about it. Even indoors with all the lights on in a room, its difficult to see anything but people's faces. When something bad happens, everyone just stumbles around in the dark. No-one thinks of switching the lights on.
The main problems for me started from episode 6 on. Up to this it is great and definitely recommended. After this it is not recommended. The contrivances became common and ridiculous. Silly, and I feel sad as it was ruined. For example, a girl who is truly in love, suddenly voluntarily goes out with a boy she doesn't like who was arranged by a dad she has been rebelling against. A person gets killed all by himself in the woods and a janitor starts violently questioning the person's ex-girlfriend because the janitor has just randomly decided its something to do with her, for no sane reason whatsoever. Just cheaply contrived to get some suspense and emotion.
Finally, something that all the advertising seems to avoid mentioning. It has an 18 rating (in UK). That may be due to the violent murders (beatings, stabbings and burnings). Nothing out of the ordinary by modern standards, except maybe the one burning on the stake due to the condition of the person. It may be due to the sex, which is also mild by modern standards. I think the main problem is that most of this involves people who are of school-age. It is teenagers being murdered. It is teenagers having sex and being naked. I loved watching the young girls in the shower, not to mention some of the other things. I'm a liberal middle-aged male, but this sort of thing is controversial. In some parts of the world, people go to jail for making such images. In works of art such things manage to get away with a bit more leeway but, can any TV series be a work of art due to its 'mass market product' nature? I think this may offend some people.
15 of 25 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?